Create a Database of Sources

If you find yourself writing for the same niche over and over, it will save you time and effort to build a database of information and industry sources that you can access on demand.

With web writing in particular, you’ll often be asked to link to a source, and it isn’t generally acceptable or wise to make that link to a competitor’s website, but often that’s what you’ll find dominating the search results. Having a solid list of reputable, non-corporate industry sources is a great way to speed up your research, and get the links your client will love.

Start with Industry Magazines and Newsletters

For every niche topic there is a print or online magazine or newsletter catering to professionals within the industry. Often, there’s more than one. Keeping links to these handy is a great way to keep up with what’s new in your industry, and find unbiased and reliable source material for your articles.

Industry Associations

Industry associations are another great place to source out reliable information. Quite often they’ll have a newsletter of their own, and publish frequent articles on their website. Try to find associations from different English-speaking countries for the best overall coverage. You’ll find that North America, Europe, and Australia often have their own associations. For larger industries, each state, province and region may have an association, with larger country-based and even international organizations having a significant presence as well.

Keep up with Press Releases

You can’t always use press releases for source material, but they can give you great ideas for article topics, and some thoughts on angles for stories. Sites like PRNewswire, Marketwire and similar newswire sites sort their news releases by industry, so you should be able to keep tabs on your particular niches either by email or RSS feeds.

Throw it All Together in a Custom Search Engine

Google has a great feature that allows you to build your own custom search tool. Add all the URLs of the websites you’ve found so far into a new custom search box. Then you’ve got great sources at your fingertips whenever you need to write a new article.

As an example, here’s one I built for Office Printers and Copiers:

Adding a bunch of these to a hidden place on your blog or personal website will give you a head start each time a new article is requested. You’ll find yourself saving time and energy each time you use them.

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